Nudging u to better health


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Over the last 20 years pedometers have increased in popularity. However,
 more recently they have been adopted by large numbers of people wishing to set daily activity targets which they can easily measure. A study in 2006 assessed how accurate the device was when recording the exercise completed and found that when comparing two devices both gave very similar results. This showed that pedomPedometereters are consistent with one person's achievements can be compared to another's. The second indicator was how well it actually recorded steps and they found the error was less than 2%. These devices can therefore be recommended to people aiming to increase their daily walking distance (British Journal of Sports Medicine, Edition 40, 2006)

The idea of using a pedometer is to enable a person to gauge the levels of activity they get through walking on a daily basis. The idea is to ascertain a baseline (wearing it daily over a period of a week and taking the average number of steps per day). Then once you know this you can set personal goals to increase your activity levels on a weekly or monthly basis. For example if you walk on average 1,000 steps a day then you aim to increase this by 100 to 300 steps a week and increase incrementally over time. The idea is to also build more walking into a normal life routine (walking to school, work, shops etc).

A study categorised the number of steps per day into whether people were active or inactive:

  • <5000 – sedentary
  • 5000-7499 – ‘low active’
  • 7500-9999 – somewhat active
  • 10000 (5 miles) – active
  • >12500 highly active

(Tudor-Lock and Bassett (2004) Sports Medicine)

Studies have also show that other activities can translate into steps:

  • Cycling                                              150steps/minute
    Roller Blading                                      200steps/minute
    Swimming                                          150steps/minute
    Resistance work                                 100steps/minute

If you would like to increase your activity levels a daily increase of around 10% is recommendedi.e. Average step total is 8000 step, an increase of 10% would be 8800 steps